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Summer in Summit County

Summer in Summit County, Colorado

Welcome to Summer in Summit County and one of  ‘Colorado’s Favorite Playgrounds!’ Blessed with a central location in the heart of the Colorado Rockies, Summit County encompasses the inviting towns of Keystone, Dillon, Frisco, Silverthorne, Copper Mountain, Heeney, and Breckenridge.

Summit County Summertime

Our historic towns have much to offer for all ages during the summer months. Celebrate the history of these National Historic Districts and stroll down our Main Streets while enjoying the one-of-a-kind architecture, unique shopping, and dining options.

Summer in Summit County Standouts

Find many unique lodging opportunities for romantic getaways, family vacations, and weekend adventures with friends. Summit County has many options to suit any family, group, couple, or individual.

summer in summmit county

My Brother’s Place

Bar, hot spot for tourists and locals. Live music, comedy shows, sports viewing and daily specials.

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All Aboard!

All Aboard!

All Aboard – it’s that time

Welcome to the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad! We’re glad you’ve chosen to visit. Whether you are new to experiencing this legendary railroad or have been a returning guest for years, we look forward to offering you the best in year-round historic train adventures presented today as they were in 1882! We invite you to hop aboard and relive the “Golden Age” on our railroad, which was voted “#1 Best Scenic Train in North America “ by USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice 2021 & 2022, “Best Historic Railroad of the West” 2021-23 by TrueWest Magazine Readers, and “Best Train Experience in the West” in 2016 by Sunset Magazine. Order a FREE All-Aboard Guide.

About D&SNGRR

Our family has dedicated decades to preserving the history surrounding this national treasure, the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. This railroad is designated a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service and an American Society of Civil Engineering Landmark.

When is the best time to visit the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad? Any time of the year!

During the winter, we offer exclusive round-trip train adventures deep into the heart of the San Juan National Forest to Cascade Canyon as well as the premier holiday family event train, THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train ride.

If you’re visiting in the springtime, your train excursion may feature incredible waterfalls during the spring thaw season as you journey to Cascade Canyon.

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All Aboard in the Summer

Summer is high season at the D&S with daily full day Durango to Silverton excursions May through October departing from Durango. We also offer daily 5-hour excursions on the Cascade Canyon Express seven days a week during the high season. These rail journeys also depart from the Durango Depot and travel to Cascade Canyon and are a perfect highlight reel of spectacular Rocky Mountain vistas for those with limited time.

Autumn offers you a unique way to experience peak leaf season from the comfort of the D&S train. Connect with family and friends as you explore the Rocky Mountains by historic railway. Sit back and allow yourself to be transported through a riot of blazing fall colors featuring the spectacular golden glow of aspens.

However you choose to relax and connect on the D&S train, and whatever adventure awaits you, we hope you have an inspiring journey where you create wonderful life-long memories!

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Cañon City royal gorge bridge

Cañon City

Travel to Cañon City, Colorado

Tucked into the folds and bluffs of the Arkansas Valley in south central Colorado, Cañon City boasts the nickname of “The Climate Capital of Colorado” due to the mild climate. The relaxed pace of the region’s quaint small towns, spectacular scenery, year-round outdoor activities, The Royal Gorge Park & Bridge, and The Arkansas River, which flows through the region, make this the perfect vacation destination. Request a FREE Vacation Guide.

Favorite Things to Do in the Royal Gorge Region

  • Royal Gorge Bridge and Park – a must-see and do experience. Cross America’s highest suspension bridge and participate in the other features offered at the park.
  • Whitewater rafting through the Royal Gorge Canyon – a very popular way to see and experience all the wonders of the Royal Gorge Canyon and the Arkansas River.
  • Jeep Tours – The Royal Gorge Region is an amazing place to travel through. Featuring a high alpine desert landscape and a plethora of off-road routes.
  • Royal Gorge Scenic Train – climb onboard the original transcontinental passenger train from the early 1900s.
  • The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey – voted “Best Front Range Tasting Room” by Colorado Vine. The wine-tasting room is open daily.
  • Mountain Biking & Hiking – are understated activities but many exceptional miles of trails await.

Cañon City Downtown Canon City

About Canon City and Regional Attractions

Family fun starts with a memorable ride on the Royal Gorge Route Railroad, one of the most scenic train rides in the world. The historic tracks follow the Arkansas River through the Royal Gorge Canyon, with views of the bridge from below. The whole family will enjoy exploring the unique rock formations and historic dinosaur sites. Leisure seekers will delight in the one-of-a-kind galleries, renowned antiquing, wine tasting, golfing, and fishing.

Cañon City is home to The Royal Gorge, which has a width of 50 feet at the base of the gorge and a few hundred feet at its top, with a depth of 1,200 feet; the 10-mile-long canyon is a stunning natural wonder. 1929, one of the world’s highest suspension bridges was built over the Grand Gorge. The Royal Gorge Bridge has a quarter-mile long span and hangs 1,053 feet above the gorge. The bridge is one of Colorado’s most popular attractions.

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Colorado Dining

Colorado Dining and Food

Colorado Food and Dining

Options are practically endless when it comes to activities and sights in Colorado, so is it any surprise that restaurants, bars, and dining choices are just as varied? From fine dining to food trucks, Colorado has got you covered when it comes to the best restaurants and cuisine.

The best places to eat in Colorado aren’t necessarily the ones that appear on every online blog or list; sometimes they’re the ones you discover while exploring a neighborhood in Denver or chatting with a local on a chairlift while hitting the ski slopes. There are more than 11,000 eating and drinking establishments in the state of Colorado, and with the ever-growing population of the state, that’s a number that is certain to increase with time. For locals and visitors alike, this means that there is a practically endless number of options available when deciding where to go for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

With an abundance of rooftop bars and patio seating to accommodate the year-round sunshine in Colorado, as well as a huge variety of swanky, creative, or intimate dining rooms, everyone eating out in Colorado will find something to suit their tastes - and their taste buds. Historic hotel eateries, quaint coffee shops, classic greasy spoon diners, and loud, hole-in-the-wall food joints are all within easy reach, and each has something unique to offer its guests.

Famous Colorado Foods

Colorado is known for a number of dishes, drinks, and specialties that are unique to The Centennial state. From produce to meats, here are a few delicacies that everyone - whether a tourist or native Coloradan - should add to their list of things to try while in Colorado.

Green Chili

This one is a hot topic - pun intended - because this spicy green chili is something that is vehemently claimed by both Colorado and New Mexico. The Hatch Green Chili, grown in the Hatch Valley in New Mexico, and its slightly hotter counterpart, the Pueblo Green Chili, grown in Pueblo, Colorado, are very similar, and the delicious sauce made from them can be found all over Colorado. Green chili is often made vegetarian-style or with pork, and can be served as a soup or a topping. You’ll most often find it served on top of a burrito, and to order it like a local, make sure to ask for it to be ‘smothered’.

Colorado Lamb

Colorado is one of the top producers of lamb in the United States, and Rocky Mountain lamb can be found at restaurants everywhere from New York to California. The Colorado Lamb Council (yes, that’s actually a thing) promotes the local livestock to restaurants and vendors everywhere, encouraging them to buy meat from domestic, mountain-raised sheep. Unlike producers in most other places around the world, which breed their sheep for wool, Colorado lamb is bred for the meat. The difference is remarkably clear in the quality of the lamb, which is rated among the best in the country.

colorado food peaches

Palisade Peaches

In the Western Slope region of the Rockies, just east of Grand Junction, there is a small town called Palisade. In the 19th century, Palisade was rocky and desertlike until a man named John Harlow created a canal to redirect part of the Colorado River and irrigate the land. In 1882, he planted his first peach trees, and thus a Colorado legend was born. Palisade Peaches can be found all over the country, and every year this one small region, with its sunny Western climate, produces thousands of pounds of delicious fruit that can be found at road stands, grocery stores, and farmers markets all over the state. For a special treat, visit Palisade each summer during August for the annual Peach Festival.

Bison

With less fat, a lower number of calories, and none of the hormones or fillers that are often found in cattle beef, bison is a lean, delicious, and flavorful meat that is frequently offered on the menus of Colorado restaurants. The grassy plains of Colorado are perfect for raising bison, and Colorado is the fourth largest producer of the animal in the country. Whether ground and molded into a burger with a myriad of delectable toppings, or hand cut and grilled as a perfectly cooked steak, Colorado bison is something that can be hard to come by in other parts of the country, and should definitely be on your list of food to try while visiting.

Mountain Style Pizza

There’s a classic pizza joint that originated in Idaho Springs called Beau Jo’s, which has created a genre of pizza all its own, called the Mountain Pie. Beau Jo’s now has several locations throughout Colorado, where you can order your pizza by the pound, and it comes packed with toppings and edged by the thickest, most decadent braided crust you’ve ever seen. As if that’s not enough, they serve their pizza with a bottle of local honey, so you can drizzle it over the massive crust after you’ve eaten the rest of your pizza slice.

Rocky Mountain Oysters

Colorado may be a landlocked state, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have access to great oysters! Despite the misleading name, Rocky Mountain Oysters don’t actually come from the sea. In reality, these little delicacies are - and stay with me here - deep-fried bull or bison testicles. Go ahead and take a moment to let the ‘eww’ factor sink in, but really, they’re packed with protein and are actually quite tasty! Rocky Mountain Oysters are a popular snack or appetizer in bars, and they usually come served with a delicious array of dipping sauces. If you can get over the idea of exactly what you’re eating, you might just find your new favorite food.

The Best Drinks in Colorado

Whether you’re looking for a pint of beer after a hike or an artistic, handcrafted cocktail on a patio with friends, Colorado is home to a multitude of bars, breweries, distilleries, and other businesses that are ready to serve. From historic saloons in mountain towns to rooftop nightclubs in the heart of the capital city, visitors will love the drinking culture in Colorado.

Just name the kind of bar you’re looking for and Colorado probably has it. There are bars that have been slinging drinks since the Gold Rush, bars that feature nightly live music from local, nationally, and even internationally touring musicians, and quiet wine bars where you can sip your drink and catch up with a friend. There are dive bars with dusty neon signs and cheap drinks, pool halls lined with tables where you can rent balls and cues by the hour, speakeasies hidden behind bookshelves or the facade of an ice cream shop, and swanky lounges where one-of-a-kind cocktails are crafted by mixologists and served with impeccable presentation. Looking for a wide variety of destinations during your visit? Plenty of walking, biking, pedal bar, and bus tours will happily guide you and your [legal drinking-aged] friends or family to all the best local breweries, bars, and spots you’d never find on your own.

Dining and Nightlife in Colorado

Visiting Colorado means you’ll have a constant stream of options at your fingertips, whether you're looking for a quick bite to eat, a refreshing drink, a casual family dinner, a savory meal, or a gourmet four-course dinner cooked in a backcountry yurt.

When it comes to wetting your whistle and even dancing as well, Colorado is renowned for its saloons and nightlife. The state’s ski resorts have more choices than you can shake a ski pole at for bars, musical venues, and unique meals and drinks. Nightlife sparkles all over the state, with great fun to be had in the city, along the front range, or up in the mountains. It doesn’t matter if you’re here for business, pleasure, outdoor activities, or a family vacation, Colorado has everything you need to keep you fed and make your trip memorable for years after you’ve gone home (but who are we kidding, we know you’ll be back to Colorado).

 
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Copper Mountain

Copper Mountain, Co. – More Than a World-Class Ski Resort

Copper Mountain Logo

Copper Mnt  |  866-841-2481  |  866-841-2481
209 Ten Mile Circle, Copper Mountain, CO 80443

While Copper is best known as a world-class ski area and snowboard park, guests also enjoy the resort’s intimate, pedestrian-only villages, which offer restaurants, family-friendly activities, shopping, and comfortable lodging, all within walking distance to the lifts.  Copper Mountain is conveniently located just 75 miles west of Denver in the heart of the Colorado Rocky Mountains and offers nearby access to snowmobile tours, dog-sledding, and shopping just six miles away in Frisco.  Copper’s naturally-divided terrain provides the perfect place to learn or hone your skiing or riding skills.  With over 140 trails, 23 lifts, 2,465 acres of skiable terrain, and a mountain peak height of 12,313, Copper Mountain is a local’s favorite on a powder day or any day.

Request more information about Copper Mountain

Copper Mountain

Summer Time at the Ski Area

Nestled in the White River National Forest, Copper Mountain ski resort transforms into a summer vacation playground for the whole family. Popular attractions include:

The Rocky Mountain Coaster – Cruise through the forest on a tracked coaster. 5,800 feet long in fact and maxes out at 25 miles per hour. The longest North American alpine coaster. Something you don’t want to miss.

Copper Creek Golf – Experience golfing with the stunning Ten Mile Range backdrop. Outstanding service and prices that will keep you coming back. Season passes are available.

Mountain Biking at the Resort – A mountain biking paradise. From long rides into the Rockies to some of the best lift-service single track in Colorado. A Bike Haul is offered for those seeking more of a downhill adventure. Check out the cross country trails near Copper Mountain Resort. These trails provide access to spectacular trails throughout Summit County.

Popular Cross-Country Mountain Bike Trails:

  • Wheeler Trail – 10.3-mile point to point
    A classic alpine single track with several miles over 12,000 feet. It’s popular to start from the McCullough Road trailhead and end at Copper Mountain. Enjoy amazing views of Quandary Peak and Gorge Range along the way.
  • Colorado Trail – Copper Mountain to Searle Pass – 19.3 miles round trip
    Start right at the base of Copper Mountain and top out at 12,044 feet. Best during late summer when all the high-elevation snow has melted. Climb through alpine meadows with expansive views.
  • Friso 20 Loop – 19.9-mile loop
    A classic ride that connects Copper with Frisco on a mix of roads and trails. The loop combines sections of the Wheeler Trail, the Colorado Trail, and the Peaks Trail. Giving you a little bit of everything, including 3,000 feet of climbing.

There’s more at Copper Mountain Resort

They have scheduled year-round events such as music, art, or yoga retreats. Fun parks for kids and young adults. An assortment of spas, shopping, and dining. You can surely find a mountain vacation experience to satisfy the whole group.

 

 

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Castle Rock Colorado

Castle Rock

Things To Do in Castle Rock

It’s easy to see how Castle Rock got its name when one spies the castle-shaped butte towering high above the town center. The town’s history is also easily visible in the original, well-preserved homes, cafés, and churches throughout the area. Many of these were built using the unusual rhyolite stone that originally attracted the settlers who founded the town in the mid-to-late 18th century. Prior to their arrival, the area was occupied by Cheyenne and Arapahoe Indian tribes. Today, nearly 60,0000 people call Castle Rock home.

With roots in mining and railroads, this affluent town offers an updated taste of the Old West. It boasts a historic downtown area, 265 acres of parks, and 44 miles of trails.  Castle Rock, easily accessible by Interstate 25, is home to the Outlets at Castle Rock (the largest open-air outlet center in the State) and is the seat of Douglas County.  The town encompasses 33 square miles and sits in the East Plum Creek Valley at the base of the Rocky Mountains at an elevation of 6,202 feet.

With over 300 days of sunshine each year, Castle Rock is a safe and welcoming place to enjoy the brisk Colorado air year round.

Castle Rock neighborhood

 

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South Park

South Park, Colorado

Perched high in the Colorado Rockies, South Park Colorado is a microcosm of Western history.  From deep canyons to vast grasslands to snowy peaks and alpine meadows, this compelling basin is home to the nation’s highest incorporated town, gold mines, cattle ranches, and mountain passes.  As one of only 49 National Heritage Areas in the United States, South Park offers a rare glimpse of pioneer life at high altitudes during the settlement of the American West.

This region is a landscape rich with heritage and attracts individuals who value Western authenticity.  Some ranches have been operated for five generations by the same family.  As they have for centuries, residents still depend on the land for their livelihood, recreation, and quality of life.  As other places lose their inherent charm, South Park becomes a more engaging destination.

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South Park Heritage

South Park boasts an array of nationally significant artifacts that reflect different aspects of this country’s heritage.  The basin’s high peaks, clear streams, and copious wildlife embody the resources that sustained the native people and attracted settlers west.  Hundreds of historic sites and structures still remain 150 years after the development of early mining, railroading, and ranching at 10,000 feet.  Local events celebrate the lives of early pioneers in this area.  Together, these resources and traditions evoke images of the struggle for prosperity that played out within the ring of mountains that define Colorado’s largest mountain park.

Park County Courthouse

Seven years after Fairplay became the county seat in 1867, the old Park County Courthouse was built of native sandstone in the Italianate style.  Along with the adjacent stone jail, this building witnessed a parade of the famous, the notorious, and the ordinary.  Known as the “hanging court,” decisions made here had a profound impact on Colorado case law.  Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it now serves as a public library and is one of 12 properties showcased in the Fairplay Historic Walking Tour brochure.

Boreas Pass Section House

Managed by the U.S. Forest Service, the Boreas Pass Section House was built in 1882 to house railroad workers on the Denver, SP & Pacific Railroad Highline Route between Como and Breckenridge.  Next to the Section House, the 1860s Wagon Cabin was built when this route was a mere wagon trail over the Continental Divide.  Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, these structures now serve as a visitor center and museum during summer and a backcountry ski hut during winter.

More About South Park Colorado

Perhaps you’re curious about the more modern attraction, the cartoon South Park. What does this area of Colorado have to do with the cartoon anyway? One can really only speculate on the subject. Perhaps these two places (one real, the other fictional) have nothing to do with one another. It’s just a mere coincidence that they bear similar names. However, it’s also possible that there’s more to it than mere coincidence. One similarity that stands out is that the historical South Park was outlandish, full of ironies and scandal. This is also true about the cartoon. Learn more about South Park, Fairplay, and Conifer, Colorado. Some interesting connections between them might satisfy your curiosity.

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Highway US 24 Corridor

Transcontinental Highway of 1926 – US 24

U.S. Hwy 24 or Route 24 is one of the original transcontinental highways of 1926. Initially, it started at Pontiac, Michigan in the east and headed west, and terminated at Kansas City, Missouri. Today US 24 runs from Independence Township, Michigan at an intersection with I-75, and terminates at Minturn, Colorado at an intersection with I-70.

When the US highway system was started in 1926, US Route 24 in Colorado was called US 40S. This highway started in Grand Junction and proceeded west along the current I-70 route to Minturn. Then proceeded to the current route to Limon. From Limon, it proceeded to the Kansas border and was called US 40N. The US 40S and US 40N, west and east of Limon respectively received US 24 designation in 1936; however, in 1975 when US 24 was extended west from Kansas City, Missouri. The stretch between Grand Junction and Minturn was decommissioned.

Looking back on the naming and development of US Route 24 and how this transitioned into other major highways is confusing, to say the least; however, it does let us know that US 24 was an important highway in terms of western migration and the development of west/central United States.

Telegraph Road

Dixie Highway in Pontiac, Michigan, and Laskey Road in Toledo, Ohio, denote a section of highway that was known as Telegraph Road. This telling name came about before the highway even existed after the telegraph wires which ultimately ran parallel to the route. US Route 24 was the western edge of Telegraph Road that ran through Detroit. Mark Knopfler of the Dire Straits even wrote the song “Telegraph Road”, which is the story of the development and decay of this highway.

 

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